Buying A Piece Of Russia

ConocoPhillips has big plans for Russia. On Sept. 29 the U.S. oil major bought a 7.59% stake in Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil company, paying $1.99 billion in Russia's largest privatization ever. Conoco may up its stake to 20% within two or three years. Its investment comes despite continuing investor concern over the fate of Yukos, which the government may soon dismantle to settle the company's huge tax debts. But unlike Yukos, Conoco can draw comfort from the support of President Vladimir V. Putin, who has warmly endorsed the Conoco-Lukoil partnership.

Edited by Chris Power

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